Eighties icon King Kong never really went away - in 2005 there was the hugely successful 'Rumble Jungle Life', recorded for Massive B, in 2012 followed by the King Shiloh produced 'Ethiopian Dream', and finally 'In The Old Capital', a 5 track EP released just last year - but as far as this excellent release by French label Irie Ites Records is concerned, we'd really go as far as to call it a comeback album. With 'Repatriation' Irie Ites clearly wanted to evoke a digital eighties and rub-a-dub vibe, and that's also reflected in guest list, with artists like Pinchers, Burru Banton and Eek-A-Mouse taking you back to that same era. For the musical side of things, the French left nothing to chance and enlisted, among others, Roots Radics, Leroy Mafia, Sly & Robbie, Dwight Pinkney, Bongo Herman, Russ Disciples and New Zealand riddim makers Naram Langford and Anand 'Art' Naran. Opener 'Money Could Buy', a great version over the classic Hot Milk riddim (also see Barrington levy's 'Murderer') immediately sets the tone for the rest of the album. King Kong migrated to Ethiopia in 2007, so if in title track 'Repatriation', one of the absolute highlights from the track list, he lashes out at so-called hypocrites, artists and Rastafarians who constantly talk about repatriation, but don't put their money where their mouth is, as far as we're concerned he has more than a point. Another highlight is 'Change', a call to the youths to change things before it's too late, is classic Sly & Robbie. But on which is the absolute smash on the album there needs to be little discussion: for the excellent 'Old School', King Kong goes three the hard way with Pinchers and Burru Banton over a rock-solid riddim produced by Russ Disciples, wicked! 'Wake Up The Town', the combination with Eek-A-Mouse can also convince, but one of our other favorites from the track list is the rootsy 'Rootsman Skanking', and 'Dancehall Teacher' once again shows King Kong in top shape. King Kong concludes in pure eighties style with 'Licky Licky' and the sound anthem 'After Midnight', both songs that are reminiscent of his heydays at King Jammy's. One of our first absolute recommendations for 2018!